How To: Sensory Play Coloured Rice Tray

Sensory Play colored rice tray

Sensory play is a valuable part of early childhood development, not only is it fun, but it helps develop fine motor skills and creativity. Emma has been a little unfocused and disruptive at school lately, so her teacher suggested we try some more sensory play activities at home to help her calm her behavior and help her focus. A tray of sand was suggested, but I though coloured rice would be more fun. (We are building her a sandpit this weekend). A rice tray is easy to put together with items you may already have in your kitchen…


You will need:
1 large roasting tray
1 bag of rice
food colouring in assorted colors
1 plastic container or zip lock bag

make colored rice

How to:

  1. Pour about a third of the rice into your container and add a few drops of food colouring. The more colour you add the more intense the final result.
  2. Shake, shake, shake. Emma loved this part.
  3. Pour into your tray and repeat with other colours.
  4. Play!
make colored rice
colored rice sensory play
Animals play in rice

Emma was fascinated by the whole process of colouring the rice. She also loved sticking her feet in it and feeling it between her toes. We had a little play with some animals, but afterwards I gave her some containers and a funnel and she played for days, scooping it up and burying things in the rice.
Most of it is over the back yard now so I’ll be making a new batch soon.

Have you created any sensory play activities for your kids? Which was their favourite?

You may also like – Kids Craft: Doughnut Garland

5 Comments

  • Nanny says:

    This is great! Love the idea of the coloured rice. I can understand why it was such a hit with Emma :)

  • Alessandra says:

    years ago, when still by big boy was a little one (1 year and 1/2 old!), I remember I bought him some pasta (different shapes!) and some rice to play with!! He was so happy because he loved to touch these foods with both his hands and feet!!! We didn't color them, then!
    xxx Alessandra

  • Melissa G says:

    This sounds interesting. I shall give this a go.

  • This looks fab! I need to do it for my two to focus. I didn’t realise sensory play was a way for them to calm down… great idea. I must admit they go nice and quiet when the playdoh comes out! I will try this for sure x

  • Melissa says:

    This was a hit with my 2 year old. She loved it. From coloring to playing she had a great time. Thank you for sharing these simple ideas that can be done with common household items :)

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